Need Some Advice on an Truck purchase

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by ReddensLawnCare, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,652

    Ok Guys,
    So here is my issue. I have outgrown my 1/2 ton chevy this year as I have gotten into more landscaping/hardscaping plus more general Maintenance. I am currently solo for the most part with one part time employee earning around a 5 grand a season. In the next couple of years, I want to make the transition from working in my company to working on my business, but for now, its all me for the most part.

    My considerations on a truck are either getting a Chevy 2500 around 2005 or newer, or a 3500 with a dump bed for materials, leaves, and then tree/shrub trimmings. I currently have a 12' trailer with 4' sides that I will fill with debris, but it is only a single axle so there is only so much material it can carry.

    If I get a 3/4 ton, I will have to get a dump trailer to carry with me as well, but I cant load it with my equipment and materials at the same time.


    If I get a one ton, with a dump, the problem from above is eliminated, but then I am looking at higher operating costs, as well as higher initial costs.


    Whatever I get, it will need to have less than 100k miles on it. So here are the pros and cons of each:


    3/4 Ton: Pros
    Better fuel economy, smaller and easier to get around (maybe), more cost efficient off the bat, cheaper operation


    CONS:
    Have to purchase a dump trailer, have to make second trips to go get leaves and debris after I do the work with my equipment, Limited on amount of material I can pick up at one time, cant pull quite as much



    1 Ton: Pros
    Can carry more material, Can put leaf box on dump and pick up materials, debris, trimmings, all at once. Ability to diversify my services with having dump bed


    CONS:
    Cost of ownership, Driveability, initial costs, Buying used means chances of thing already being worn out, namely the dump pump, extra fees associated with one ton


    I know this is a long post, but any input would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
     
  2. Alpha Property

    Alpha Property LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 409

    I love my 3/4 ton with a truck craft aluminum dump box, For a mowing crew or just solo small stuff, this is the way to go. Your truck still looks like a truck, and you can have your dump and still pull a trailer
     
  3. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,652

    Thats an option, I am assuming you have a 8 foot bed?
     
  4. grasscutter24

    grasscutter24 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 148

    Go with the 3500 and you will not regret it. Your better off biting the bullet in the beginning and pay a little extra. It will pay itself off for.
     
  5. chesterlawn

    chesterlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 703

    Go with the 1 ton with a dump bed. It seems like you are concerned with the size of it, after you drive it a day or two that will go away. As for hauling materials, it is so much easier on a stake body than on a trailer, one reason no trailer is needed. Say you have a job and you need materials and alot of equipment, in one trip you have it all with a stake truck and your trailer for the equipment. As for you wear on a dump pump, between me and my friends in the buisness, I have never seen one go bad. Also used stake body trucks are not that expensive to buy and maintain.
     
  6. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Don't confuse want and need.

    I would love to have a 8' bed pu with a truck craft insert with optional leaf box.

    Thing is how tight is money?

    Seems very tight so if you feel the engine is good, tires, etc, I would get a used trans if you can do the swap yourself.

    If not then go for a rebuild.

    You made it through last season and can most likely continue for next season until you can afford to upgrade.

    Remember up grading to a bigger open trailer would allow you to carry more with less money then buying a truck. Be creative and you will find a way.
     

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